Having performed in the West End from a very young age, Darcy Jacobs has played the roles of Little Cosette in Les Misérables – including at the 30th Anniversary Gala Night – and Mercy Carney in award-winning play The Ferryman at the Gielgud Theatre. Darcy was recently part of the Doctor Zhivago Concert at Cadogan Hall and has voice-recorded for an upcoming Dreamworks TV show. Also a screen actress, she can currently be seen starring alongside Elaine Paige and Ian McElhinney in the newly-released short film Missing a Note, attending the premiere last month. We chatted to Darcy about her time as Mercy in The Ferryman, appearing at Cadogan Hall in Doctor Zhivago and being on set of Missing a Note.
What was it like playing the role of Young Tonia in the UK Concert premiere of Doctor Zhivago at Cadogan Hall?
It was such an incredible experience being on stage with all of those talented actors and actresses. Ramin Karimloo, Celinde Schoenmaker and Kelly Mathieson were so lovely as well, and their voices were just beautiful. I feel very lucky to have been a part of it all, especially being able to share the stage with them since I am such a big musical theatre geek! It was great too that my friends from MXM were also in the show.
You’ve recently filmed Keane’s music video for Love Too Much, what was the experience like?
It was very different as I have never done a music video before. I was so excited when I found out I had been cast as I listened to Keane a lot before because I live in Hastings, which is close to where they are from. They were really nice and seemed to have a lot of fun on set. My role, the cake seller, was great to play because I got to be covered in cake which was very funny!
How was it filming the newly released short film Missing a Note?
It was absolutely amazing! I was so used to performing on stage that it was very strange having a camera so close to my face, but it was so cool to see the other side of it all. The team were great and made me feel so comfortable.
You star alongside Elaine Paige and Ian McElhinney, what was it like being part of the cast?
I was absolutely star-struck when I saw Elaine! As I said, I am a huge musical theatre geek, so of course, I was so excited to work with her. Elaine was great and very chatty during our breaks. We even took a walk together where we filmed, and we were talking about different musicals. I remember her favourite was West Side Story, so I made sure I came home and watched it! Ian was fantastic also, they both were. They really put me at ease which helped so much.
How long were you filming and what was the premiere like to attend?
Filming lasted a few days plus some extra pick up scenes as well. The premiere was incredible. I was surprised with a limo arriving to take me there, by the team at Fact Not Fiction Films, which I had no idea about! I got to see my face on the big screen for the first time, which was weird at first. My family were there to share it with me, and everyone just seemed to love the film which was good. It was the first time I’d seen the film so I was so nervous about what I had done but it really was great. I just feel so lucky to be part of something so special. Tristan, the producer, also announced that the film is being shown in a cinema in Los Angeles and has been submitted for the 2020 Academy Awards which is just awesome!
Can you tell us about voicing your characters for an upcoming series for Dreamworks?
I can’t really say much as it hasn’t been released yet. It was cool being in the recording studio though, wearing proper studio headphones listening to myself as the characters. It was a bit strange to begin with as I didn’t know what my character looked like. I did get to sing as well which was great. I was also lucky enough to be offered another role in the series, which was so amazing because I got to see the characters this time and they looked so cute!
You’re part of MX Masterclass, and performed at Collabro’s Road to the Royal Albert Hall concert, can you say about your time training with MX Masterclass and appearing alongside Collabro?
I am so lucky to be part of MXM because I have improved so much by being there. I have learnt so many new skills, and it’s so nice to be around people that have the same passion as I have. Our end of term showcase was amazing. I got to share the stage with Luke Bayer and Laura Baldwin, who were incredible. I even got to perform a duet with my friend Max, which was so much fun. It was so unbelievable to sing in the Royal Albert Hall and is one of the best experiences in my life and singing with Collabro was the cherry on top.
What do you remember from your time playing Mercy Carney in The Ferryman?
I remember being so excited when I found out I got the part and also being quite shocked because I thought I was so bad at the Northern Irish accent. It was so mind-blowing being part of an Olivier Award-winning play, it honestly was just like being part of a family. We had such fun both on stage and backstage. I loved every second of it. I got to do so many things like learn an Irish dance, cooking eggs and bacon on stage and even swearing.
What were rehearsals like for this role?
With Les Mis, we only had a couple of rehearsals since I was only on stage for about ten minutes, but because in The Ferryman I was on stage for the majority of the play, I remember the rehearsals being long, even though, looking back now, I was only in there for an hour or two. I also had to have dialect coaching to help improve my accent which helped a lot. There was a lot of stage direction I had to learn as well as it was so important knowing where I needed to be when on stage as at times there were a lot of us on there. I had to learn how to blow a French Horn only five days before the show and I was really worried. I also remember on the first rehearsal I had to learn the ceilidh, and I found it so hard I couldn’t do it, but it ended up turning into my favourite part of the show.
You portrayed Little Cosette in Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre, what was she like to play, and how was it being part of the 30th Anniversary Gala Performance?
I played Young Cosette in a local production of Les Mis when I was about seven, and I knew then that I wanted to play the role again. I would watch the 25th Anniversary stage show on DVD all the time. I was only eight when I got the part, but it was just the best feeling in the world. I’d always get butterflies before going on stage but it was a good feeling. The 30th Anniversary was one of THE best experiences ever! I got to meet so many crazy talented people and hear them sing, the original cast including Colm Wilkinson and Patti LuPone, the writers and even Cameron Mackintosh. It’s so nice that some of the cast who I performed with are now doing the concert version at the Gielgud Theatre, which I cannot wait to watch next month.
How and when did you first show an interest in acting?
Well, I know if you asked my parents they would say that I have loved it since before I could walk! I used to sing along to all the Disney films and then pause them to go and dress up and act out my favourite scenes. One of my favourite films when I was three was Mamma Mia, and I went and watched the stage show with my aunt. I joined a glee club when I was six and just loved performing from then on.
How do you prepare for an audition?
If there is any material I need to learn, like for example a script, I would go to my bedroom and learn the lines in a particular rhythm to help me remember it. If it’s a song, I listen to it as much as possible. If the thing I’m auditioning for is based on a book or a film, I would look up the character, read the book or watch the film. Then, of course, I give myself pep talks to get me pumped up for the day.
Have you seen any TV or stage shows you would recommend?
Definitely Waitress, Wicked and Hamilton. They are all amazing! And, of course, the classics Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera and West Side Story. I could be here all day listing lots more!
What are your upcoming career plans?
I haven’t got any projects coming up at the moment, but I hope there will be something soon. I want to carry on doing this forever. For career plans when I leave school, I will hopefully get into a drama school, and then my dream is to move to New York and attend uni there.
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